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A Mardi Gras mask with inset photos of a catfish, rice and a cotton boll


New Orleans, nicknamed the "Big Easy", is known far and wide for jazz music, cafes, spicy cuisine and the annual celebration of Mardi Gras. This vibrant city is also home to ARS's Southern Regional Research Center.

In honor of the Mardi Gras season, we're featuring research from the Big Easy including enhancing the quality and nutritional value of rice, boosting the cotton nonwoven industry, preventing of off-flavors in fish and developing efficient processing and quality in sugar for food and bioenergy production.

Check out these stories to learn more

Using More Cotton May Help Clean the Environment - A research team at the ARS Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans, LA, is looking at ways to increase the use and utility of cotton fibers.

ARS Scientists Improve Nutrients and Add Value to Rice Crop - Rice, already the primary staple for half the world's population, is getting a makeover from a research team in New Orleans, LA. The results are a more healthful grain and many potential new products.

Refining the Appeal of a Regional Favorite - ARS researchers are throwing overboard the off-flavors in catfish to ensure better quality of U.S. catfish compared to imports.

Sugar Byproducts May Help Refresh the Environment - Scientists are turning that waste into products that can refresh the soil. Two examples involve mill mud and bagasse.